Updated: Nov 6, 2018
"Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work."
Where ever you look things are packaged and I am, of course, not talking just about the way we are forced to buy food! However, the way fresh food and take away food is generally packaged has some similarities with the way businesses services are being offered. It seems that every tiny services and feature that a business needs have been turned into a unique product that is packaged priced and available to down load and use. In the worlds of marketing, IT, legal advice, banking, office equipment, training, it appears there is specialist solution with a starter, normal and premium service or product that is designed exactly for your business. Whether it is someone to clean your keyboards or help you write a legal letter to a late payer all you have to do is Google and there will be a list of suppliers ready to deliver at rock bottom prices.
So what’s not too like? Well in many cases it all works well and as long as you check out the business and really know what you want and need no problem.
The difficulty comes when you are not actually sure what you want or need.
Its great to buy a Google adwords campaign to boost sales and any number of social media businesses will spend your budget and charge a tiny fee. You can download a ready made legal letter and send it out. You can ask a specialist packaging designer to start a project and so it goes on. The problem is that it is so easy to be a very busy fool and spend a lot money and think that all these specialists will produce a coordinated solution that will… well will what?
The challenge could be that there is just a very vague idea of what you are trying to achieve, or maybe you are just trying to keep things as they have always been. Buying each specialist service at a better price could be a cost reduction strategy or it could just be causing you a problem. If you ask a pharmacist to fix a broken leg he might try and sell you a pill! There is a corporate saying; don’t try and solve the wrong problem really well. This really means that many business managers think they know what the issue is and work really hard to solve the problem.
An example was a company I ran in the 1990s in the technology sector. We were experiencing sluggish sales and tried lowering prices, increasing marketing, doing more face to face selling and really put a lot of effort into it. It took a change in our credit control terms and the ability to let trade customers use credit cards that suddenly turned the tides and sales leaped up rapidly. It had nothing to do with pricing or marketing but fortunately when we found the solution that extra work helped as well, a lucky break perhaps. There have been bigger challenges remember when Coca Cola changed flavour to distance itself from Pepsi? Millions of dollars later they changed back.
So, off the shelf, packaged solutions can be highly efficient and save money and you can be sure of what you are getting if it is a well-known and established brand.
But imagine if you had a well-known cost-effective solution that was tailor made for your business as well. There are many examples of businesses that have used technology to give you this Utopian answer. The online trouser business that makes bespoke trousers just for you, the design and write your own birthday card site…we all know of a business doing this.
One thing you don’t want to buy packaged however is a marketing consultant and unfortunately this seems to be the trend. Consultants that have never run a business or managed a brand, marketing consultants who are specialists in one area which just happens to be the buzz at the moment. They have a sure fire program and system they probably learnt when they purchased the franchise… great for team building days out not good for transforming your business.
So for the record this is what I do at Greenfield:
Build an understanding of your business based on facts,research and talking to staff and customers
Create a relationship built on trust by doing something proactively which amazes you from the get go.
Act as a catalyst for change and take the flack and deal with the worry for you.
I don't reinvent the wheel or tell you what you want to hear (but will give positive feedback when its real)
Always head for a specialist once we know we need one
Look objectively at a challenge and do the detail
Handle the dirty work when required
Create new ideas that are achievable and measurable
Influence your team by interaction, discussion and examination of facts
I’m open to being challenged and like a good argument (That's not the stand up shouting type by the way)
I never give up or under deliver and I’ve been fired a few time in my past life so understand the process!
Work with technology to discover new solutions and I am always trying to be up to date. (Block Chain my new baby)
Not interested in fads only trends
Experienced enough to work through the tough stuff mad enough to come up with amazing ideas!!
Work in any sector where people are involved (please look at my client list)
Can draw and write good stuff (really)